If the winter weather has you down, check out these parks about our national parks and America’s wilderness to help you get inspired to plan your next visit, or maybe to jumpstart your passion for preserving and protecting these natural gems.
1. Stephen Mather, First Director of the National Parks from 1917 to 1929:
“The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.”
2. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States, who signed Executive Order 6166, consolidating all National Parks and National Monuments, Military Parks, Cemeteries, Memorials, and Capitol Parks under one, central National Park system:
“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”
3. Dayton Duncan, author of “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea:”
“The story is, a man came up to Yosemite and the ranger was sitting at the front gate and the man said, “I’ve only got one hour to see Yosemite. If you only had one hour to see Yosemite, what would you do?” And the ranger said, “Well, I’d go right over there, and I’d sit on that rock, and I’d cry.”
4. Bill Bryson, American-British author and traveler:
“If you drive to, say, Shenandoah National park, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll get some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors. When you walk into it, then you see it in a completely different way. You discover it in a much slower, more majestic sort of way.”
5. Jordan Fisher, singer, dancer, and actor:
“I encourage everybody to hop on Google and type in ‘national park’ in whatever state they live in and see the beauty that lies in their own backyard. It’s that simple.”
6. Michael Frome, writer, educator, and guardian of the national parks and our nation’s natural resources:
“A national park is not a playground. it’s a sanctuary for nature and for humans who will accept nature on nature’s own terms.”
7. John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, author, and early advocate for protecting America’s wilderness:
“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life…Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.”
8. President Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th president of the United States:
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through it.”
9. President John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States:
“National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources. It is the course of wisdom to set aside an ample portion of our natural resources as national parks and reserves, thus ensuring that future generations may know the majesty of the earth as we know it today.”
10. Mollie Beattie, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
“What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.”
11. Harvey Broome, co-founder of The Wilderness Society:
“”Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.
Britain won its wars on the playing fields of Eton. America developed its mettle at the muddy gaps of the Cumberlands, in the swift rapids of its rivers, on the limitless reaches of its western plains, in the silent vastness of primeval forests, and in the blizzard-ridden passes of the Rockies and Coast ranges.
If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the world was and what it might, with understanding and loving husbandry, yet become. These are islands in time — with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.”
12. Henry David Thoreau, writer:
“In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
Enjoying Your Favorite National Park
If these quotes have you inspired to head out into the wilderness or maybe to start doing your part to preserve our natural resources, it’s time to start planning your next visit to a national park! If Zion National Park is on your bucket list, check out the rest of our blog to learn everything you need to know about planning the perfect trip.